View Poll Results: Which of these works do you like best?

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  • Bartók: The Miraculous Mandarin

    10 26.32%
  • Prokofiev: Scythian Suite

    4 10.53%
  • Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps

    24 63.16%
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Thread: Mandarin, Scythian, Sacre

  1. #16
    Senior Member Simon Moon's Avatar
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    Oct 2013
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    I voted for Stravinsky, but it was a very close call over the Bartok.

    It could have gone either way...
    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

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  3. #17
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    Nov 2017
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    I once read about a patient in a mental asylum who listened to nothing but Bartok's The Miraculous Mandarin every day. He was obsessed with the ballet, and would play it over and over and over again. There was no other music for him. It was the only recording that he wanted to own. So I think we can safely say which way he'd have voted.

    As for myself, I find it difficult to choose between The Miraculous Mandarin and Le Sacre du Printemps. I see them as similar works, and like both. I also occasionally listen to the Scythian Suite, which is another work that is full of brilliant orchestral textures, but I don't listen to it nearly as often as the other two. (Despite that I probably listen to Prokofiev's music more, overall.)

    Considering that I own many more recordings of Le Sacre, I'll have to pick Le Sacre here. Yet, one of the reasons why I own fewer recordings of the Bartok is because I like Claudio Abbado's LSO recording on DG so much that I've never felt a strong need to collect many other versions. IMO, it's one of the best recordings that Abbado made during his career: Nevertheless, I do own other versions--by Chailly, Dorati, Boulez, and Ivan Fischer. Which isn't all that many recordings for me, at least not when I like a piece of music, as I do here.

    In contrast, I've bought an almost obscene number of recordings of Le Sacre over the past four decades (on both LP & CD)--by the following conductors, who I'll try to list in some order of preference, starting with my top three favorite versions of Le Sacre--from (1) Igor Markevitch & the Philharmonia:, (2) Ernest Bour:, and (3) Pierre Boulez in Paris in 1963:; as well as other recordings that I've liked by Dutoit, Chailly in Cleveland, Dorati x 2, Stravinsky, Monteux, Abbado, Craft, Boulez on CBS/Sony & DG, Bernstein in NY, Ansermet, Litton, Salonen in LA (along with his earlier version with the Philharmonia, which I don't like quite as much), Van Zweden on Exton, C. Davis, Haitink, Muti in Philadelphia, Currentzis, and Tilson Thomas on Sony. So I feel almost obligated to pick Le Sacre, since I'm obviously a bit obsessed with the score (despite that my favorite ballet by Stravinsky is The Firebird...).

    Whereas I own only a single recording of Prokofiev's Scythian Suite--by Abbado & the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, on DG. Which is another remarkable performance: Again, I've never felt a need to buy any other recording; since, IMO, Abbado was at his best in the music of Profokiev (along with Berg, Bartok, Schoenberg, Webern, Nono, Rossini, Mozart, Verdi, Mahler, Stravinsky, Debussy, & Ravel). For me, Abbado's tenures in London & Chicago represent his best years as a conductor.
    Last edited by Josquin13; Mar-05-2021 at 00:00.

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  5. #18
    Senior Member HerbertNorman's Avatar
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    Stravinsky , no shadow of a doubt for me

  6. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heck148 View Post
    Like them all -
    Le Sacre is tops
    Mandarin is next
    Scythian is 3rd
    That's probably how I'd rank them. Le Sacre is definitely first for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reichstag aus LICHT View Post
    Almost exactly 10 years ago, I attended one of the most memorable concerts of my life, with Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting The Miraculous Mandarin and The Rite of Spring. They're both great works, of course - the Prokofiev is good, albeit not in the same league - but I couldn't live without "The Rite". It would be one of my Desert Island discs, for sure.
    Quote Originally Posted by Reichstag aus LICHT View Post
    Salonen is superb in this repertoire, that's for sure. As for the concert, the "filler" was a fine performance of Shostakovich's 2nd Piano Concerto! I really got my money's worth there
    That sounds like an amazing concert!

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